We Bought a Zoo meets Jurassic Park in a gripping story set in an elephant sanctuary, featuring the perennial appeal of human-animal friendships.Samantha (Sam) lives at the elephant sanctuary her dad runs and views the elephants there as much a part of her family as her single dad is. When a beloved elephant dies in childbirth, Sam develops… Continue reading Book Review: Elephant Secret by Eric Walters
I picked 10 novels off my middle grade and young adult shelves. All books I've read and enjoyed, but I was curious to pay closer attention to how they start. Do their opening lines have a hook? Let's take a look: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate I am Ivan. I am a… Continue reading 10 Opening Lines: Do they entice you to read on?
When I first started writing YA, long ago, I picked up Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. It's a book I still highly recommend today. However, it's been years since I read it, so I've pulled it off my shelf to give it my time and attention again. And I'm rather amused.… Continue reading Regina Brooks’ 5 Rules for Engaging YA Readers
I was recently asked by one of my readers my thoughts on the dialogue tag "said." I do have thoughts, and thank you for asking this question. In grade school we are taught to use all kinds of dialogue tags: "Watch out," he exclaimed; "Get back here right now," she yelled; "We can't go to… Continue reading “Use dialogue tags sparingly, if at all,” she said.
I've written stories nearly all my life. I still have an original from when I was in grade two, three maybe. I wrote poetry and gory short stories through my teens. Picture books when my kids were little. And now, I focus on novel writing for middle grade and young adult audiences. Amazing how our… Continue reading The biggest lesson about the editing process.
Do you write middle grade, young adult or new adult novels? Writing for these audiences is very different than writing for adults. A lot of people believe it's easier to write for kids -- oh, if they only knew. . . Clear, clean, concise writing; convincing dialogue; and telling a story without preaching a message… Continue reading Don’t Get Shelved!